Created By: AymNaija on August 11, 2011 Last Edited By: AymNaija on August 15, 2011

RAS Syndrome

When somebody uses a word that makes up the acronym with the acronym itself.

Name Space:
Page Type:
This trope happens when somebody uses an word with an acronym where the word is already in the acronym. Common example? ATM machine (automated teller machine machine)
I've seen an empty page for it. It's referenced a few times here and there in the wiki. Should we have a page for it or not? If so just keep putting examples.
Community Feedback Replies: 21
  • August 11, 2011
    Real Life example: HIV virus.
  • August 11, 2011
    From the construction, it seems this is about Redundant Acronym Syndrome, not Recursive Acronym Syndrome. The latter would have to follow a different form to be autological.
  • August 11, 2011
    PIN Number
  • August 11, 2011
    Many of the examples here. If this deserves a page of its own, it might be good to fix up that section of Department Of Redundancy Department.
  • August 11, 2011
  • August 11, 2011
    Not quite, Recursive Acronym is where one of the letters in the acronym stands for the acronym itself. GNU = "GNU's Not Unix", for example. In this case, the redundancy is caused by people forgetting that the attached label is already part of the acronym to begin with ("ATM machine" and "PIN number", for example).
  • August 12, 2011
  • August 12, 2011
    @randomsurfer - Also, I think it's a subtrope of the Department Of Redundancy Department ;)
  • August 12, 2011
    There seems to be a consensus about its relation to the Department Of Redundancy Department in here.
  • August 12, 2011
    Baseball announcers speak of RBI's- Runs Batted Ins. Of course, who would rather say R's-B-I?
  • August 12, 2011
    Not ...quite the same. That's due to it being an irregular plural, so the acronym gets treated as a singular.
  • August 12, 2011
    From Dilbert: The TTP Project
  • August 12, 2011
    ^That was also a Redundant Acronym, for added madness.

    Copied from the Real Life Redundancy page:

    • The "HIV Virus." HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, so calling it the HIV Virus is Human Immunodeficiency Virus Virus. AIDS stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, so calling it "the AIDS syndrome" (or heaven forbid, the "AIDS virus," which doesn't exist) is calling it the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Syndrome.
    • Much like HIV and AIDS, 'ATM Machine' is redundant. ATM stands for Automated Teller Machine.
    • Please never tell anyone your PIN Number for the ATM Machine.
    • Not to mention the VIN number to your car.
      • Or your ATV vehicle.
    • There's also 'EMP Pulse'. EMP stands for Electromagnetic Pulse.
    • Some summer camps have the acronym TNC (That's Not Camp), which has led to the phrase "That's TNC!"
    • In Canada, political commentators and other people frequently refer to "the NDP party." NDP stands for New Democratic Party.
    • Don't forget "MSDS sheet" (i.e. "Material Safety Data Sheet Sheet"). However, "PCV valve" is an aversion, as the V there stands for "ventilation", not "valve".
      • True, but many non-mechanical types think PCV stands for "Pollution Control Valve", making PCV valve "Pollution Control Valve valve".
    • And of course NIC Card making it a Network Interface Card Card
    • And OG Gangster - Original Gangster Gangster
    • The NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) can sometimes get it from both ends, as demonstrated by This article on repairing the Nintendo NES System.
    • Most professional sports are referred to with redundant names. NFL Football is National Football League Football. NHL Hockey is National Hockey League Hockey. The worst offenders are MLB Baseball, MLS Soccer, and MLL Lacrosse, which translate to Major League Baseball Baseball, Major League Soccer Soccer, and Major League Lacrosse Lacrosse.
      • And some go even farther with National Football League Football League.
  • August 12, 2011
    NFL Football and NHL Hockey make some sense - the first "football" and "hockey" are part of the name, the second is referring to the general sport, and the whole construction serves to distinguish it from football and hockey on other levels. But for the others, "major league" already serves that purpose...
  • August 14, 2011
    Do we actually do this sort of thing? I mean, we're tv tropes, we handly tropes and a few other related things. This is a peculio of language.
  • August 14, 2011
    No, we don't need a page for listing every RAS that people can think of. It's not a literary device, it's not a starytelling convention, and it doesn't add any additional information to the work. It's just a thing people do in real life. And every single example could go on Department Of Redundancy Department.
  • August 14, 2011
    I'm sure one person in Not Always Right commented on this trope's usage with "PIN number"... and then proceeded to ask where the ATM machine was.
  • August 14, 2011
    Discard, please. There's already Recursive Acronym.
  • August 14, 2011
    This is not Recursive Acronym. It's more like Shaped Like Itself.

    I think pedants who quibble over this kind of thing might qualify as a trope. Off the top of my head, I think Martin complains about this in Super 8, and I know that Luke Rattigan from the Doctor Who episode "The Sontaran Stratagem" complains when the Doctor calls his invention the "Atmos System", Atmos being short for Atmospheric Emission System.
  • August 14, 2011
    If (as you say) this is not Recursive Acronym then it needs a better description, because it seems like basically the same thing.
  • August 15, 2011
    A Recursive Acronym is an acronym where one of the letters in the acronym stands for the acronym itself. This is where an acronym is followed or preceded by a redundant word. How is that remotely the same thing?

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable